My first face-to-face encounter with testers and QA managers

I recently returned from the National Software Testing conference which was held in London May 20-21. This was not only the first overseas conference I attended it was also my first "personal" encounter with testers, QA managers and other people related to the testing community. Up until now it has all been "digital" conversations across various platforms. 

I took away two major points from the conference, one professional and the other more social in nature...

Professionally The “hot” topic that seemed to be on everyone’s mind was “Agile Testing”. 

One of the statements that resonated with me the most from one of the sessions,  was that just because you decide to “work Agile” doesn't mean you skip the test planning stage and do everything “on the go”. It is still crucial to define requirements and user stories. If you don’t define your mission how can you  know it has been completed?

In fact, I think Agile is a phrase that many like to state they follow, but in reality they either don't really implement Agile practices properly or they misunderstand what testing Agile really means. What do you think?

Socially, I got a great sense of camaraderie among attendees. The impressions was that we were all united in the sense of feeling under-appreciated or misunderstood as a profession.  This is a tough truth to handle since it can definitely influence job motivation and performance. 

Improving cross department communication and work procedures is the key to being more valued but is very challenging and there is no “one size” solution. I would be happy to hear from anyone out there who wishes to share their found solution for improving communication between development, testing and management.

Ma'ayan Carr

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Comment by David on August 15, 2014 at 6:39

Agile testing - first of all, this term comes along with the situation when the development is doing agile development. With this said, QA is often told to follow agile. This could be a good change but we should be clear what is needed in agile testing. TDD by definition is a unit testing methodology and cannot replace the other test type. The idea to replace testing with TDD or automation is usually from development managers or alike. This is a trap if we follow.

I personally tried agile testing in a different way. Try not to think in a waterfall way. Agile testing is about the process to test things incrementally. A very proper and complete regression test is needed at the end. The biggest advantage about agile testing is not really about time-to-market but the ability to respond very fast about any issue or defect. 

Socially - yes testers got under-appreciated while surprisingly an auditor is very much recognized. It is probably due to the understanding that everyone can be a tester. This can be true but not everyone can be a good tester. Software testing industry needs an authority and academy to define our entry entrance and the protect our profession.  

Comment by Sakshi Sahani on June 24, 2014 at 10:29

Maayan -  I am agree with kim knup. you should increase your communication skill and make a circle of official friends. build your good will in your circle and they will defiantly help you.


Comment by Sharath Byregowda on June 11, 2014 at 10:51

Maayan - To me you are spot on with your observations both social & professional. I feel working as a tester in agile teams is fantastic because its more collaborative and rely on rapid feedback. But it's very worrying to see more and more discussions are focussed on a specific process like TDD or BDD or only automation instead of what agile stands for and how we can adapt what best suits us.

Comment by Kim Knup on June 9, 2014 at 13:39

One main improvement for us was to sit the testers with the developers. We all including management sit together and can easily talk or get together without needing to write potentially misunderstood e-mails. It also creates a sense of togetherness.

For over sea departments we used to do video conferences with 5 offices once a week for 40 mins sharing experiences, challenges and wins.


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